Monday 24th July 2017
It was a rainy day and we stayed indoors, catching up on readings and emails, a holiday day chilling within the holiday itself.
Tuesday 25th July 2017
We had breakfast at the hostel in the kitchen area where we met Somendrah Singh, an Indian photographer from Jaipur who was going on an expedition the next day for 3 weeks in the Arctic. Krasnoyarsk is the best starting point for trips further North, the way Ushuaia is the starting point for the Antarctic. Just hearing about his coming trip was exciting! He has incredibly beautiful photos on his instagram here: somendra.singh. You can see more of his photos of India and water painting of birds on his website here: http://www.somendras.com
There was also William, a young Dutch guy who had just started travelling and answered to the question ‘How long are you travelling for?’ by the answer ‘Not sure, I have no plan.’ which is the dream answer anyone wish they could give! William had just graduated in finance and worked for a year and decided to travel a bit first to figure out what he really wanted to do in life. He was heading East towards the Altai and Mongolia. He was keen to go for a walk in the Stolby Nature Reserve so my parents, him and I left the hostel and walked in the streets of Krasnoyarsk to the bus stop to catch the bus 37. On our walk to the bus stop, we saw street art, birds, Russians selling fruits and veggies, a church, an interesting bus stop and lots of blue arrows signs.
We got on the bus which took us to the Stolby Nature Reserve within 20-30 minutes.
The stolby Nature Reserve has a funny dog character at the entrance sitting on the bench and speaking some Russian to you when you rub his belly or on the top of his head.
The top of the Stolby Nature Reserve can be reached by taking a chairlift which is used in winter by skiers and snowboarders. It was strange to take it in summer, I suddenly felt like an invisible snowboard holding to my right foot and willing to slide it on the snow to reach the chairlift. What a strange sensation!
The Stolby Nature Reserve covers 17,000 hectares of forests dotted with giant boulder formations called stolbys (pillars). There are over 100 formations in total, some of them up to 100 meters high.
There was a giant statue of a type of groundhog.
We admired the view from the top then walked to our right into the forest. We saw lots of birch trees, more stolby rocks, some lezards, flowers, mushrooms, bees and a cool spider with a white back.
We bumped many times into this type of beetle which always had a tendency of being under our feet. I kept picking it up and putting it outside of the path. We sadly saw a lot of dead ones too.
We went right onto this path. The weather was hot and humid and there was no wind, we felt really sticky and it was quite tiring to walk in these conditions.
We arrived at another view point where we could see more stolbys and a kite flying high in the sky.
On the way back, we saw cool trees, interesting mushrooms and caterpillars, more beetles, and great landscapes.
Then we took the chairlift back down. We were lucky to get on a bus back immediately. We saw some construction work going on on the bridge, arrived and saw the lion emblem made of flowers. I had a glass of Kvas again and bought some berries from the old ladies in the street.
Then we got back to the hostel, had a shower, packed the bags, said good-bye to Somendra and William and the hostel receptionist who had been super friendly and helpful all morning before we had left and off we were to the train station in a Uber this time. We waited for Train 55 of 2.50pm Moscow time which was 6.50pm Krasnoyarsk time. We boarded it and this time our train was of a beautiful blue colour. Dinner was either rice with white chicken or bulgur with carrots and beef.
In my 4-bed compartment were 3 Russian guys, all working for the French brand Leroy-Merlin which is similar to Bunnings in Australia, a household hardware store for home and gardening. Leroy-Merlin is opening shops all over Russia and the three of them were sales managers developing shops in Krasnoyarsk, Novosibirsk and Surgut, one of them spoke some English and helped to have some small conversation.
Night fell while the train rocked smoothly, taking us towards Novosibirsk.
Next day, let’s explore Novosibirsk!